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Archive for the ‘Diet’ Category

junkfoodHealthDay (http://tinyurl.com/high-calorie-diet-crash 11/12, Dotinga) reported that, according to a study published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine found that “rats weaned off a high-calorie diet showed the same effects on the brain as withdrawing from drugs and alcohol.” After giving “rats a regular diet for five days and then” switching “them to a chocolate-flavored food that was high in sugar,” investigators found that the animals “didn’t want to switch back to the ordinary chow after…dining on the equivalent of rat junk food.” And, “when deprived of the sugary food, they showed signs of anxiety, and their brains acted as if they were withdrawing from alcohol or drugs.”

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vitaminsMedscape (11/3, Cassels) reported that, according to research, “overall nutritional status in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) shows that this patient population is at risk for low trace mineral status, including deficiencies in zinc and copper.” Canadian found that, “among 44 children aged six to 12 years with AD/HD, rates of zinc and copper deficiency were 45% and 35%, respectively.” In addition, “40% of the children consumed less than the recommended levels of meat and meat alternatives and had low levels of related micronutrients that are essential cofactors for the body’s manufacture of dopamine, norepinephrine, and melatonin.”  Researchers associate low folate levels in pregnancy with increased odds for AD/HD in offspring.  Healthday(11/3, Preidt http://tinyurl.com/low-folate-ADD) reported that, according to a study published online Oct. 28 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, “low folate levels during pregnancy are associated with higher odds for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) in offspring aged seven to nine.” Investigators also discovered that “children of mothers with low folate levels had notably smaller head circumference at birth, which may indicate a slower rate of prenatal brain growth.”

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low-carb-dietThe UK’s Daily Mail (10/21, Macrae) reports that, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Neurodegeneration, “high-protein diets” in mice “may shrink the brain,” thereby “raising the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in later life.” Researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine examined “the effect of various diets, including one high in protein and low in carbohydrate on the brains of mice.” They found that “the brains of mice fed Atkins-like diets, rich in protein and low in carbohydrate, were five percent lighter than those of other creatures,” and had underdeveloped “areas key to memory.”

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BBC News (4/28) reports that, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “eating fatty foods can help boost memory.” Working with rats, researchers from the University of California-Irvine “discovered oleic acids from fats are converted into a memory-enhancing agent in the gut.” In addition, “evidence shows high levels of oleoylethanolamide, or OEA, can reduce appetite, produce weight loss, and lower blood cholesterol as well as triglyceride levels, making it an attractive candidate as a diet pill too.” In the present study, the team “discovered that OEA also causes memories to be laid down by activating memory-enhancing signals in the amygdala — the part of the brain involved with memories of emotional events.” Rats given the substance “improved their memory retention in two different tests — running in a maze and avoiding an unpleasant experience.”

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Getting fatty acid intake from fish/fish oils a couple times a week may help decrease depression symptoms over time as well as . Eating fish twice a week isn’t impossible to do!  The best omega-3 sources are from fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon [high in two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)]. The FDA has an easy to read handout of fish that are safe to eat regularly as well as those to limit or avoid for mercury concerns. http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/admehg3.html 

Natalie Stephens RD, LD

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